Geneva based International Road Federation, a global body working for safer roads world wide in consultation with trauma care experts and providers, based on results from trials in the UK and India, has developed a programme for imparting life saving assistance training to drivers of commercial vehicles for providing enhanced first aid and trauma care to accident victims.

“The drivers of commercial vehicles are often witness to accidents and with the appropriate training they can provide enhanced first aid and pre-hospital trauma care to accident victims without waiting for the first ambulance. The goal of this IRF programme is to train the trainers, and large number of commercial vehicle drivers including public transport drivers across the nation as an ongoing programme.” said Mr K K Kapila, Chairman, International Road Federation (IRF).

Mr K K Kapila Chairman , IRF
“The IRF is introducing this initiative under a newly launched arm called the International Collaborative Centre for Improved Outcomes after Traffic injuries. To start with Training will be imparted to drivers of the NCR region at Automobile Association of Upper India at Qutab Institutional area in South Delhi in league with Medical and Trauma Experts. It will be later taken to other parts of the country ” Mr Kapila said.

“ During the programme drivers of heavy vehicles will be trained in basic life support and rescue systems. The training will include calling emergency services, performing first aid for the victim, safe handling and shifting techniques to avoid further injury to the victim. Skills to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) through chest compressions, maintaining breathing, relieving choking at the accident site and dealing with different kind of bleeding . The training will be imparted by trained doctors of the trauma care hospital with use of videos, practice demos, presentations and other such mechanisms to impart the skills. Case scenarios would be also discussed and critical cases simulated to practice and acquire life saving skills hands on using models would be demonstrated.” Said Mr Kapila.

“If an accident victim is given life support and rushed to a hospital with established trauma care within the golden hour, it is believed that about 8 out of 10 who would normally die in road traffic accidents can be saved. In high income countries, witnesses and by-standers provide critical first aid and pre-hospital trauma care to victims of traffic accidents. This timely intervention can often mean the difference between life and death for the accident victims. In low-income countries including India this happens much less often; the witnesses and by-standers lack the appropriate training and skills to provide the needed first aid and trauma care.” Said Mr Kapila.

“Accident victims have to wait till the arrival of the first ambulance at the scene of the accident. Given the shortages of ambulances, trained staff, infrastructure, systems and processes for providing emergency response services, the provision of first aid and trauma care to accident victims is often unduly delayed. The result of these delays reflects in higher traffic accident fatality rates in low-income countries. These fatality rates can be reduced if appropriate first aid and trauma care is provided more quickly at the accident site itself.” Added Mr Kapila.

The IRF strongly believes that this training programme will make a significant and important contribution to the goal of reducing the number of fatalities resulting from traffic accidents.